Air Odisha, Air Deccan could begin operations on regional routes by Sept-end

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018

Air Odisha and Air Deccan should be able to fly on regional routes that they had bid for earlier this year by the end of September, a senior official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Wednesday.

The start of flights by these two airlines will give a boost to the Government’s regional air connectivity scheme (RCS) as Air Odisha had won the right to operate on 50 routes, while Air Deccan has been awarded 34 routes. These two airlines bagged the maximum number of routes among the five airlines which were given the mandate to start flying under the RCS scheme of the Government.

"Both the airlines have completed two of the five processes that need to be completed with the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation for the issue of a licence to start a regional airline. They have also approached the authorities for importing six Beachcraft aircraft between them,” the official said.

The Government had stipulated that the five airlines which won rights to operate regional flights in March this year must start them by the end of September. Failure to start operations would result in the airline not being granted a licence to start air services.

Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India, SpiceJet and TruJet were the other airlines which won the right to operate flights under the RCS scheme. While Alliance has started flights to Shimla, Bhatinda, Pant Nagar and Gwalior from Delhi, SpiceJet has started operating on the Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai routes under the scheme. Similarly, TruJet has started operations on the Hyderabad-Nanded and Hyderabad-Kadapa routes under the scheme.

The RCS scheme, which is also popularly called The UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik scheme, seeks to give people from tier-II and tier-III cities a chance to fly at a ticket price of ₹2,500. Airlines operating under the UDAN scheme have to ensure that the prices of at least 50 per cent of the seats on their flights are available at a price of ₹2,500 each for an hour of flying. The Centre and state will provide viability gap funding for the airlines operating on the UDAN routes to ensure profitability of these flights.

Published on July 12, 2017

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